Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Noemi Cabello shields a Sunnyside defender from the ball during a 5-0 victory Thursday, just 24 hours after a last-minute loss to Clovis North.
Less than 24 hours after suffering a heartbreaking last-minute loss against Clovis North, the Madera Coyotes girls soccer team bounced back with a blowout win against Sunnyside.
The Coyotes scored only one goal in the first half, but turned up the intensity in the second half to win 5-0 on Thursday in Memorial Stadium.
“We had a tough game yesterday. It took a lot of energy, so we had to comeback today with a win,” senior Noemi Cabello said. “We kept fighting and pushing and shooting.”
Cabello made a difference with her energy and also scored the second goal of the game in the 50th minute, receiving a pass with her back to the goal and spinning around a defender in the box to shoot into the net.
“I just thought maybe I can turn her, find the corner,” Cabello said. “I had been missing a couple, so just turned and shot with power to get it in.”
Sunnyside came into the game with only two wins. The Wildcats allowed Madera’s Itzel Rodriguez to score in the third minute, but managed to contain the Coyotes for the rest of the half.
“I thought we played well the second half,” Madera head coach Cameron Hill said. “The first half, we scored early and let our foot of the gas a little bit.”
Hill added that it’s easy for players to see stats online and overlook a team like Sunnyside.
“Everything is on the internet now,” Hill said. “They see that [Sunnyside] hasn’t had very good results, so it’s hard not to get that in their head. At the same time, you have to be more professional about it.”
After Cabello’s goal made it to 2-0, sophomore Mariah Zapata scored off a corner kick in the 60th minute. Rodriguez added a second goal a minute later, while junior Elizabeth Vasquez scored the final goal in the 75th minute.
“We played down to their level, so we had to pick up our level,” Cabello said. “We just had to keep up the intensity.”
Hill said the girls weren’t affected by the back-to-back schedule.
“It’s tiring, but we don’t go to any tournaments. Teams that go to tournaments play four games in two days, so I think we’ll be fine,” Hill said. “We try not to have back-to-backs, but sometimes it just happens.”
The Coyotes will now get a break for the holidays and return to action against Clovis West on Dec. 28.
“It’s a break to give the girls time with their family,” Hill said. “We have a week off and we come back the day after Christmas because we train the 26th and the 27th then we play Clovis West.”
The Coyotes will then start league play on Jan. 3 against Sanger.
“We have to be aggressive with the teams coming up because they’re going to be aggressive and it’s going to be a tough few weeks,” Cabello said.
Madera suffers heartbreak against Clovis North
The Madera Coyotes girls soccer team went from euphoria to heartbreak in a matter of minutes.
The Coyotes celebrated a tying goal from Itzel Rodriguez in the 75th minute, but walked away in sadness after Clovis North scored in stoppage time to win 2-1 on Dec. 19 at Memorial Stadium.
“We were 1-1 when I put that goal under the net and it felt so amazing, but then they scored,” Rodriguez said.
The Coyotes struggled to create opportunities for most of the game, but the rare chance came on a corner kick late in the second half. That’s when Rodriguez flicked the header past the goalkeeper, sending the Coyotes and the home crowd into a frenzy.
With seconds left before the final whistle, Clovis North made one last push. The Coyotes initially held their ground, scrambling in their own box to keep the Broncos out.
Still, the Broncos earned one last corner. Adrieene Goodin then converted that corner into the game-winner.
“Everybody put their effort in it,” Rodriguez said. “I was crying, so I’m pretty sure everybody is frustrated, but we are going to come back and we’re going to be really good in each other game.”
The Coyotes fell behind on a goal by Taylour Mendoza in the 20th minute, but managed to limit the Broncos’ chances for the rest of the match.
“They’re good at set pieces. That’s how they win a lot of their games,” Madera head coach Cameron Hill said. “It was a great ball that she put in the box.”
The emotional game was also a physical battle which led to both teams complaining to the referees.
“No matter what, with the referee, you just have to deal with whatever you have to deal with,” Hill said. “They had to deal with the same referee that we did and I don’t think he was bad. I think in the heat of the battle, you just get caught up in the game and things happen.”
The Coyotes wanted to get more players into the attack and transition quicker, but they found themselves pinned back in their own half for most of the game.
“They had more of the ball, but I think we need to get our numbers going forward so we can be more successful,” Hill said.
Clovis North, who finished fourth in the TRAC last year, came into the game with one loss on the season.
“You just learn that you can play with the best teams around,” Hill said. “Clovis North is in TRAC. They’re in Division I. They have had a successful season so far. They have won two tournaments already, but we showed up and we played them.”
The Coyotes had to get over the loss quickly and focus on the game against Sunnyside less than 24 hours later.
“They will shake it off,” Hill said. “Our team is pretty resilient and I think that we showed that we have fight, especially against the teams we have been playing because they’re all good teams. We have never given up in any of these matches.”